Money is a good indicator of fit, features, and quiet, it doesn't correlate with safety.
When Motorcyclist published those comparitive tests, the "softest landing" for the brain was in a Z1R helmet, among the least expensive in the comparison. That was a DOT helmet compared to 2005 SNELL.
SNELL has since changed from "harder hits" to "softer landings".
I watch the SHARP helmet tests http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/
by the UK government. These helmets may not be identical to the models available in the US. The tests show which manufacturers consistently make safer helmets and which transfer more force to the head.
If you are looking for a flip-up, SHARP tells % of time a flip-up helmet opened in the tests.
I wear a Shoei and the $ bought me a quieter helmet and a face shield that resists scratching more than my previous one. In SHARP, Shoei consistently gets 5 stars although the helmets they test are built to ECE standards and may be different from the one I have that was built to SNELL 2010 standards. But there are other less expensive helmets that also get 5 stars.
One comment that I remember from the magazine was that ANY helmet made to modern standards is far better than any helmet from a decade or so previously. The standards have helped all manufacturers make safer helmets.